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How Long to Run an eBay Auction?

This is a question which every eBay seller asks themselves from time to time.

As you will know, you have a choice of a number of days for your auction to run. These are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days.

Now you might wonder why you would never give your auction maximum exposure? In the UK, for the same fee you can run your auction for any length of time from 1 to 10 days. Surely 10 days of traffic is better than 1 day?

On ebay.com there is a slight difference in that 10 day auctions attract a small additional listing fee. But even here, a 7 day auction incurs the same fees as an auction of 1 day duration.

However, different auction durations can be useful to you.

For example, if you want a quick turnaround on your auction, choose the shortest duration. The potential downside is that you may be sacrificing profit. But if quick cash is your priority, a fast auction could be to your benefit.

If you’re patient, and have no particular reason to sell quickly, then a long auction will normally perform better.

The number and value of your items are other considerations. If your item is of a higher price, and you have more than one to sell, it may be worth running 3 day auctions. With higher priced items the listing fee is a small percentage of the item cost. And, by running 3 day auctions, your item will be consistently higher up in search results.

Also, if you have items that usually get a good number of bidders, it is to your advantage to list for longer periods.

You can also do your own research into other sellers who offer similar products to yours. Take a look at their selling history and see what auction durations are proving successful for them. You can do such a search by noting your competitors eBay ID, go into Advanced Search, select Items by Seller, and ask to include completed listings.

A further factor for you to consider is the popularity of your item. For example, if it’s an item related to a holiday period like Christmas or Easter, you can try shorter term auctions.

The final word on this topic has to be a general one which applies to pretty much everything you do on eBay. And that is – test it out. Try different durations. After all, you are the best placed person to see what works for your items in your eBay market.

Brian McGregor is an internet entrepreneur specializing in eBay. He publishes the eBay Auction Newsletter – Subscribe free. Get traffic to your site – ‘The eBay Traffic Funnel’